7 Years and Counting

Category : Blogger Posts : 2007-2010, Christie, Gary

7 years ago today I made the most important decision of my life, I said, “I Do”! The weight of that decision was heavy but I knew at the time without a doubt that Christie was the one who made me whole, the one who I needed to share everything with. What I didn’t and couldn’t have known at the time was just how right I was.

Christie and I spent the first 4 years of our life figuring out how to “do” life together. In that time we finished our educations, took vacations, had trips to the hospital, lost loved ones, laughed, cried and yes we even had some decent disagreements (OK you could call them fights if you got technical about it). Through all of this we were able to, by the Grace of God grow increasingly close to one another.  I could honestly say that at the end of those 4 years we had gotten pretty good at being together and loving one another.

Then it all changed, we decided to have a baby. We embarked on this adventure with me having no job, us still living in an apartment and no idea where life was going to take us. Would I be a stay at home dad and buck the trend of the ever providing uber man? At the time we had no clue. Within the 9 months that it took God to help Christie grow our Aanna, I graduated from GVSU, started and finished an internship at Gordon Food Service, bought a house and got a job at Calvin College.

Needless to say, all this change turned our way of life upside down. We definitely needed to re-learn how we “did” life from that point on.  Once again though with God’s Grace and our never failing commitment, we tackled this challenge. We had Anna on Oct 18 2007 and our entire world became right. It was painfully obvious to me at that point why I was here on this Earth. If it had not been obvious at the time, 6 months later it was certainly confirmed when God surprised us with our little squeaky. Isabella was truly a gift to us as we had no idea she was going to happen. As He usually does, God had a plan for our lives and our marriage and He put this into motion in our life by giving Izzy to us. Izzy was born Jan 13 2009 and at that point our life together went from moderately busy to crazy busy. Christie began calling it 2 under 2 and it was as busy as it sounded.

Now Anna is almost 3 and Izzy is working on 2 and things have evened out a bit. We have yet again relearned and re-defined what it is for us to “do” life. There are times when I look at Christie and the girls and I just can not believe that I am blessed as abundantly as I am. God is truly an amazing and gracious God.

Our most recent re-vamp of our lives has been to get healthy. I got a bit of a wake up call as Christie calls it last October. My Triglycerides were 493 which is way high and the doctor gave me a choice, take meds or change your habits. I chose to change rather than take a pill at age 32. So yet again we tackled a challenge and changed how we “did” life.  We are nearing a whole year of this lifestyle and we are both down by nearly 20 and over 20 pounds and we are feeling great.

I have said all of this up until now to illustrate my point that my decision 7 years ago to commit my life and everything that is me to Christie was nothing short of the best decision I could have ever made. Christie, you are the one person in this world that God set aside for me, you are the one that I love more each day than I did the day previous, you are my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night (ok – so the girls are sometimes  my first and last thought – but I think I get a pass on that one), you are the half that makes me whole and my true best friend. I can not wait to wake up next to you when we are old and wrinkled and be able to talk with you about all the amazing adventures we experienced together!

Thank you for choosing me!

Happy Anniversary Babe!

For all of you who read this blog, I can only hope and pray that your married life is half as good as mine. If you have a spouse as special as this, make sure they know how special they are to you, there is nothing more important!

Christie Vs. the Scale

Category : Christie

I would like to do a series of posts recounting my battle with my weight but instead of dwelling on the negative right now, I wanted to get this post out there because of what it means to me.

I’ve been on a slow and steady road of weightloss starting in September 2005.  There seems to be a trend over the years where my weightloss has been broken into 3rds.  The first third was between the time I started and when I got pregnant with Anna.  I lost about 25 pounds.  The second third was between Anna and Izzy along with the 10 months after she was born was another 20 pounds.  Then in October, Gary had a wake up call with this yearly physical and blood work.  His triglycerides were high and we needed to make a change.

So stepped up the physical activity with Gary working out a couple days a week, we changed our eating habits by taking out the juice and junk and traded it for veggies and more water!  I was finishing up a work out class and had the hair brained idea of doing some sort of event in the spring, like a 5k WALK.  Well Gary thought we should start strong and do a 5k RUN.  So I agreed, joined the GVSU gym and started training the week between Christmas and New Years.

So with all those changes in just a short period of time, I lost another 21 pounds and have reached an incredibly huge milestone in my journey.  I’ve entered, what Weight Watchers groupies call, Onederland!  I officially saw 199.5 on the scale, the first time ever I’ve seen that on the scale as I never really weighed myself before my weightloss.

That was only last Tuesday and the changes in my mind and body have been incredible already!  My self esteem is far more than it has ever been.  I don’t feel like I’m with the heavy crowd anymore.  I try to encourage other family members and friends that they can do it and have heard that I’m an inspiration!  Wow.  I never thought I’d hear that as so many others are an inspiration to me.  We went to a waterpark yesterday and I walked around in my bathing suit all day!  I’m usually running to get covered up by a towel or cover up, but yesterday I felt like I reached the other side and am ready to keep up the momentum to continue on my journey.

I have another 30-40 pounds that I’d like to lose but in the meantime, I’m going to hold on to this huge accomplishment, 67.5 pounds down and under 200.

I’m pretty pumped if you can’t tell.  :)

(Don’t mind the horribly painted toes or the lack there of…..  I have kids.)

Yes, we have a 2nd child

Category : Family

Our walls have been adorned with the sweet pictures of our family of 3.  Well as you should all know, we have 2 kids.  So I decided it was time we had a Tidd Family photo shoot this spring.  I’m an avid blog reader and have added a few local photographers and event planners (I have a thing for wedding details, photos, invites, etc) to my Google Reader to check out their posts and phenomenal photos.  I had seen Amy Carroll’s name on a few different blogs and events so I checked out her site.  I loved her style, the vividness to her pictures, the way she captured the moment candidly and not forced.  She seemed like a perfect fit for us, so I went for it and emailed her to see if she’s be interested in doing a family photo shoot for us.  Of course, she said yes and wanted to know more about our family.  After a few emails back and forth, a date set, we settled on a more urban landscape.  We like everything from the beach to the farm to the downtown life and we just felt that fit us.

We ended up purchasing the disc of all the touched up images Amy took so we can use them in all different ways.  I had lots of plans.  :)   One, being to change out our family of 3 canvas wraps for the wall in the living room.

The 2nd big change is a 3 dimensional collage that Gary and I collaborated on from ideas we’ve seen online and in person.  I got 9 various sized mounts printed so we can arrange them on the wall at the top of our stairs on the 2nd floor.  Hopefully those will go up this weekend!  Complete with pictures of course.  :)

The rest will come as they may filling frames, on desks, as desktop backgrounds and in the hands of those we love.

The shoot itself it was awesome!  We met Amy at her studio in downtown GR, just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city.  She took us right out her own backdoor to an industrial alley filled with colorful brick buildings and lots of interesting locations for photos and curiosity.  Amy was patient with the girls and made us all feel like friends from the moment we met her.  She’s truly in a job she was meant to be in!

We couldn’t be happier with our photos as they captured us as us and would highly recommend Amy to shoot your wedding or your family photos!

Check out the rest of our photos!

Anna’s Secret Life | Part 4

Category : Anna

Here’s chapter 1, 2 & 3 of Anna’s Secret Life to get caught up!

So she’s now bought and sold the red truck, bought a new orange truck and bought a new orange boat.  Where did she get all this money?!  With a job of course!  So we talk about Gary and I going to work and what we do there.  The conversation can go something like this.  During the week, we both load the girls in the van.  Anna sometimes asks “where are we going?”  I tell her Michelle’s and she replies “and daddy’s going to work?”  I say, yes daddy is going to work and mommy’s going to work.  Then one day she asks “what are you doing at work?”  So we tell her daddy works at a computer and mommy works at a computer.  We’ve had this conversation a few times now and knows what a computer is.  She asks if we can go to daddy’s work from time to time too as we’ve been there for lunch on occasion and have gone swimming there too.

So in the same conversation revealing the boat, we find out about her job.  She tells us that she goes to work.  So we ask her what she does at work.  She says “ummm…. I work on computers.”  I say, “what do you do on the computers?”  She says “I do spiders on the computers.”  We’re both a little confused as what this means.  So I turn around (we’re in the van) and ask her again, she says “I do spiders” and she puts her little hands out and makes them look like they are “crawling.”  I couldn’t believe it.  She did that b/c that’s what it looks like when you type on the keyboard, like you’re doing spiders.  What a smart little girl.

So the most recent addition to the so called secret life of Anna is something that’s kept at grandma’s……..  (with all this said, she sure has the storytelling of her Uncle Alex as proven by many years of report cards saying “loves to tell stories”)

A lovely weekend

Category : Projects

We had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  We kicked off the weekend before the weekend started with some hardcore yard work.  As most parents know, it’s hard to get a lot done in a little amount of time with little ones roaming the yard on opposite sides of the house.  But we gave it a try.  Gary mowed the yard, edged (note to selves, we need to do this more often) while the girls played in the sandbox and dirt and stayed close and weeded the side of the house we were all on.  A much needed bath was given to the girls and put them to bed.  We headed back out right away.  While Gary hauled the mulch over that our gracious neighbors gave to us, I busted out the loppers, you know the giant scissors for trimming?  :)   My initial reason to use it was to trim away the little trees sprouting from the roots of our flowering pear tree.  We still have a giant stake in the ground that held the tree in place and all the effort in the world isn’t removing it.  So on to plan B.  Anywho, back to the loppers.  Well our spirea bushes grew incredibly fast as I thought last year they were the size they were later in the summer.  I decided they needed a trim.  So I started chopping away and what a difference it makes when you have pruned bushes!  Then you add the mulch, a weeded flower bed and some annuals to revive a very sad front yard.

We also had to say goodbye to the the little maple sapling Gary’s Grandpa Hall gave us a couple years ago.  I believe I was weed wacking last summer and knicked it too bad for it to come back this year.  I felt horrible but we bought a replacement, a healthy Kwansan Cherry tree.  In about 5 years it should be about 7 feet tall and by 12 years be about 15-20 feet full of pink blossoms.  So it’ll be beautiful with our white blossom the flower pear gives us.

By this time, the giant mosquitos started hauling us away so we headed in around 10:30 that night.  Can I just say, I love yard work!  Weird, maybe but so therapeutic to get your hands dirty and crawl around on the ground.  What an amazing creation God has placed just in our little piece of land.

Friday kicked off the weekend.  I started a little early only in the sense that I ate my lunch on the boardwalk in Grand Haven under beautiful blue sky and a bright sun.  It was the beginning of tourist season and you can tell as the town multiplies!  We headed back to Grand Haven after dinner to walk to pier with the girls.  It wasn’t as crowded as I thought but I’m sure the rest of the weekend was a bit busier.  The girls have a great time people watching (and getting antsy sitting in their stroller).  Gary and I have great talks on our walks like this, we’re so blessed to have an amazing marriage, even after 7 years!  What a wonderful (but late) night!

Saturday brought on Round 2 of Once a Month Cooking!  Nisi and I were prepared a bit more this time – sorry I didn’t take any pictures of this round!  We spent about $250 in total to create 32 meals for 2 families.  So that averaged $7.81 per meal and $1.95 per person.  I say that’s a success!  Nisi spent a lot of time preparing the menu, grocery list and the prep plan between the 2 of us.  Nisi did all the meat preparation and I did all the fruit and veggie chopping.  For whatever reason, my knee didn’t appreciate walking the pier, spending 2 hours in the grocery store and standing that morning and decided to swell up.  So Gary stepped in and with all that, we finished in about 6.5 hours with a wonderful menu!  Here’s what we made this time:  Mom & Dad Tidd’s meatball subs with homemade sauce, Nisi’s delicious (we all tried some) chicken cordon bleu, tomato basil hamburgers, bacon and bleu burgers, chicken enchillada casserole, mango pork and italian flank steak pinwheels.  I think this is going to be an amazing menu!  I almost forgot, but our disc of family pictures came too!  A whole nother post about that will come soon.  :)

Sheila came out that night to hang out with us and the girls.  We hit up the DQ which helped with the incredible amount of muggy that was going on outside.  We tried to do a little yard work, but again the blood suckers were carrying us away.

Sunday brought a wonderful Memorial Day service that has us all tear up a little.  Great music, great message with a great video of reflection of past and present troops.  Wish you were all there!  If ever in the neighborhood, check out our amazing church!  Then we headed to Gary’s parents for dinner and a little fun in the sun.  Here’s a funny story about the day!  I rounded out Sunday night by planting my annuals for the buckets of rain came.  And again, those darn mosquitos got me.

Monday we woke up to thunder and lightening, well actually we woke up at 4am to Anna crying b/c she lost her pipe.  Then again at 6:30am to I think her crying but it could have been the storms, but either way Anna wanted to go to bed with panties that night instead of a pull up.  So I got her up when we went to bed to go potty, no go.  Again at 4am, no go.  Then the 6:30 wake up call she wet the bed.  Bummer.  So we changed her and came into our bed to watch the storms roll through.  Izzy slept peacefully till about 8am.  We rounded out the day with a cook-out in the raining/sunny weather we were having.

Anna’s Secret Life | Part 3

Category : Anna

Don’t miss chapter 1 and chapter 2 of this saga!

So she has an orange truck, which she still drives while Izzy tags along.  Apparently this truck has a hitch because she bought something else with all these millions she’s racked up in 2.5 years time.  She bought a boat!  Not just any boat, an orange boat to match her orange truck of course!  We were headed in to Grand Haven the night we were informed of this great purchase and when we were walking the pier, she kept pointing out the boats that had orange on them but we didn’t see hers….. odd I know!

Soon we figured out how she was able to buy and sell the red truck, but the orange truck and then buy the orange boat……

Anna’s Secret Life | Part 2

Category : Anna

If you missed the beginning of this saga, check out part 1.

So a couple weeks goes by, we’ve chatted about the red truck and the story remains.  Man, this girl is good.  Until the fateful day where she tells us that she doesn’t have the red truck anymore……

She bought a new truck!  Wait a minute, how does she have this money to get new trucks.  I’ve wanted a truck (a diesel mind you) for a very long time and now she’s burned through 2 of them already.  So she tells me she has an orange truck now.  Of course I ask her what happened to the red truck.  She said it was broke.  I asked her if she sold it.  She emphatically says “yep!”  I asked “Who did you sell it to?”   “Aunt Sheila” she replied.  Well that makes sense, the Neon finally perished and she was in a need of a new car.

So she has an orange truck, which she still drives while Izzy tags along.  Apparently this truck has a hitch because she bought something else with all these millions she’s racked up in 2.5 years time……..

Anna’s Secret Life | Part 1

Category : Anna

So maybe a month or so ago, all of us as a family were riding in the van and Anna starts talking about a red truck.  So we talk about seeing a red truck, asks if she remembers daddy’s blue truck, etc.  Typical little kid conversation while driving.  Or so I thought.  So she continues to talk about this red truck, well come to find out, SHE has a red truck.  I look at Gary with this “lets see where this goes” look.  So I start talking to her about it.  She says she has a red truck.  She said that she drives it and that Izzy rides in it.  She gets that from when we’re all riding together and she asks why I’m not driving (b/c I take them to and from daycare during the week), and I tell her that daddy’s driving and mommy’s riding just like she is.

So a couple weeks goes by, we’ve chatted about the red truck and the story remains.  Man, this girl is good.  Until the fateful day where she tells us that she doesn’t have the red truck anymore……

Oh so obvious

Category : Anna

So I didn’t realize that summer-time brought on new rules in terms of potty training.  So we were at Gary’s parents house this weekend, enjoying the beautiful Michigan weather.  No exaggeration non-Michigan people who think it’s always cold and over cast.  Summer is beautiful and we live for it!  Anyway, we got there and all put our suits on getting ready to play in the sprinklers and in the kiddie pool.  Anna is doing her first summer sans swimming diapers so I had a talk with her while we were getting ready.  I said, you can’t pee in the pool.  You tell us if you need to go and we’ll go back in the house.  We had this conversation a few times while getting ready.  She said ok.

So we’re out in the pool, she’s making her “having to go potty” moves and I ask her a few times if she needs to go.  She says no and keeps playing.  Here’s the visual:  Gary and Sheila are sitting the pool.  Anna is standing up playing next to them in the pool.  Anna looks down while “water” comes out of bathing suit.  I ask, “Anna, what are you doing!?”  Anna says in the most even keeled look, “I’m peeing in the pool.”

Holy cannolli.  We have a little work to do.  Hehe.